Once ubiquitous Blackberry is laying off more workers across its money losing hardware division, the struggling Canadian smartphone maker has confirmed.
While the company was briefly profitable during Q4 of fiscal ’15, this short run of fortune couldn’t hide the wider challenges in the business and yet another year of losses.
CEO John Chen wants to achieve sustainable profitability by the end of the current fiscal year and is looking to achieve it with another round of cost cutting.
Blackberry would not confirm the number of people to be let go but given the small sales of its once large hardware division the firings could be considerable.
“Our intention is to reallocate resources in ways that will best enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business
As a result, we have made the decision to consolidate our device, software, hardware and applications business, impacting a number of employees around the world,” said BlackBerry.
The company employed just 6,225 full-time employees globally as of February, way down on the 16,000 workforce in 2012 before it began to slash costs in the wake of a string of disappointing hardware devices.
In BlackBerry’s last full financial year it had revenues of $3.34 billion, down 51 per cent year-on-year, good for a loss of $304 million. While a terrible result it was better than than the loss of $5.9 billion in fiscal ’14.
The company reiterated that it sees a future built on software and services rather than hardware:
“One of our priorities is making our device business profitable. At the same time, we must grow software and licensing revenues. You will see in the coming months a significant ramping in our customers facing activities in sales and marketing.”
The “path to growth” for the company will achieved by investments in software, enterprise security and exploiting the coming Internet of Things, according to the company report.
Blackberry faces a tough challenge as Android has become the ubiquitous operating system of smartphones, televisions and will likely extend that success to connected appliances. As a large number of people have not used a Blackberry, instead preferring iPhones and Androids, the company faces an uphill battle teaching users how to use its devices and making them connect with other, more dominant, operating systems.